Ten Horse Movies that Should Have Won Golden Globes

Pop Culture
"The Black Stallion" is one horse movie that never won a Golden Globe. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Golden Globe Awards on January 8, 2017 will celebrate the best and the brightest in cinema and television from 2016. But sometimes even the experts overlook a masterpiece, and that’s why we have our list of 10 horse movies that should have won Golden Globes.  They’re listed below in no particular order, and let us know in the comments if we missed your favorite horse in this list! 

1. “Seabiscuit” (2004) 

“Seabiscuit” is one of those must-watch movies that transcended the sport of horse racing to permeate pop culture. The story of the scrappy, knock-kneed racehorse and his human connections captured the hearts of Americans during the Great Depression as well as audiences around the world when the film took to the silver screen in 2004. While the movie was nominated for two Golden Globes (specifically, for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – William H. Macy) it walked away without any awards; unlike the real Seabiscuit, who was inducted into horse racing’s Hall of Fame way back in 1958. 

2. “Buck” (2011) 

If you haven’t seen “Buck,” you need to grab the tissues and get to Netflix right now. The moving 2011 documentary chronicles the life of Buck Brannaman, who overcame a horrific childhood to become a horse whisperer. Buck’s gentleness with horses is a stark contrast to the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father, and the film portrays needy, misunderstood horses as both Buck’s salvation and his calling. Somehow this film was snubbed by both the Golden Globes and the Oscars, but their loss is your gain if you watch this poignant documentary.

3. “Let It Ride” (1989) 

OK, if we’re being honest here, this movie was probably never going to earn its cast and crew too many statuettes; it’s a comedy about gamblers at the track, so it’s not exactly highbrow. However, it delivers some serious belly laughs, and Richard Dreyfuss should have at least received a nomination for his hilarious portrayal of Jay Trotter, a bettor who gets on a hot streak playing the ponies.

4. “The Black Stallion” (1979) 

It’s a bit shocking that this classic didn’t win a Golden Globe, especially for the score (for which it did garner a nomination) and the direction.  This is a movie that ends up on so many horse lovers’ favorites list, and with good reason: it’s a classic story of the unbreakable love between a boy and his horse. 

5. “Phar Lap” (1983) 

This is another classic movie that should have at least attracted a nomination for a Golden Globe; in fact, it won numerous awards from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts. The story of the Australian superstar racehorse with humble beginnings and a mysterious end continues to be a favorite film with the horsey set. 

6. “War Horse” (2012) 

The emotional story of Joey, a Thoroughbred-cum-war horse who navigates the trenches of World War I, did get nominations for Best Picture as well as Best Original Score; but ultimately the film lost out in both categories. The movie can be gut-wrenching to watch, but Steven Spielberg adapts the award-winning play to the silver screen beautifully and faithfully. 

7.  “National Velvet” (1944) 

This classic film introduced the world to Elizabeth Taylor, and the story of the underdog horse, his young female rider, and a jaded former jockey as his trainer all striving to win England’s Grand National steeplechase is a favorite across generations. Despite its massive popularity and good reception both by critics as well as at the box office, National Velvet did not receive a Golden Globe Award. 

8. “Ruffian” (2007) 

This is a made-for-TV movie, but the Golden Globes have an award for that! Unfortunately, “Ruffian” didn’t even garner a nomination that year. However, fans of horses and racing in general should make a point to see this moving film about the super filly whose heart was more than her legs could carry. 

9. “A Day at the Races” (1937) 

This film didn’t win a Golden Globe since it predated that ceremony by six years; however, that means that you can watch this film and be an awards season hipster. “I liked a horse racing movie before Hollywood thought they were cool!” But, seriously: watch this movie. It’s the Marx Brothers at the races. It’s amazing! 

10. “Misty” (1961) 

Another classic, this movie is an adaptation of Marguerite Henry’s beloved children’s novel about a brother and sister who capture and adopt a wild pony and her daughter. While it was never nominated for a Golden Globe, the movie is remarkable in that it uses many locals from Chincoteague Island, where much of the action takes place. It’s a great story and an amazing look at mid-century life in a little-known coastal community.

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